Adam Boulton questions whether Wales is a country

Adam Boulton. Picture by Policy Exchange (CC BY 2.0)

Is Wales a country? The Editor-at-large of Sky News isn’t sure, as he made clear with Plaid Cymru AM Delyth Jewell on the channel this morning.

“Do you think that Wales really holds together as a nation? You’ve got south Wales, north Wales, Welsh language speakers, non-Welsh speakers,” he asked.

“Can you really say that the geographic entity represents in human terms, a country?”

Delyth Jewell responded to say that Plaid Cymru hoped to invest in infrastructure in order to enhance the connections between different parts of the nation.

“Oh certainly! There are a lot of barriers in the way of Wales over generations,” she said.

“For Example, in order to get from north to south via rail or road it can be quicker to go via England! So we need to look at independence to get6 ouyr country better integrated. There’s nothing intrinsic about the state we are in.”

“You won’t get the money from England, will you?” he asked, before interrupting Delyth Jewell’s answer to finish the interview.

 

Confused

Deryn lobbying form director Cathy Owens said it was “hard to know where to start” with the interview.

“Did I really just hear Adam Boulton suggest Wales is not a nation in human terms because we speak two languages and have a north and a south Sky News? Hard to know where to start with that.”

It isn’t the first time Wales has confused Adam Boulton. In 2014 he asked why bilingual signs were needed in the country.

 

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EilianBen DigedigRhosdduMax SommersDave Brooker Recent comment authors
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Jason Evans
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Jason Evans

Chwarae Teg to Adam Boulton he’s hit new levels of obtuseness. When asking the deliberately provocative and totally disrepectful question as to whether Cymru is a nation in human terms he mentions “Welsh speakers, non Welsh speakers, North Wales, South Wales”. Like you I amazingly happened noticed a common thread that links us all.
The sooner we’re independent and stand on our own two feet and disengage from the other part the better.
Annibyniaeth i Gymru
Cymru am byth

Bill Phillips
Guest
Bill Phillips

We could always drop the English translation on signs.

Cer thomas
Guest
Cer thomas

Good idea that would confuse our English friends

Maria Houlihan
Guest
Maria Houlihan

idiotic. I am England boro n and bred.. but my mother was from Merthyr Tydfil.. Dad from County Limerick. Are you therefore ‘targetting’ me as one of your so say ‘English friends?’ rhat is to be stoppped from knowing where I am going. In the part of South Wales I visit not everyone speaks Welsh fluently. It wouldn’t nother me to see place names in all Welsh.. its your country.. I am proud of my Welsh heritage and have had links all my life. family and culture at home. Why make even more divisions.. such as instructions on road signs… Read more »

Keith Williams
Guest
Keith Williams

Well said Maria, I am Welsh I live in Wales, I do not speak Welsh so I would be as lost as as English person, I hope we are never independent as if laid have their way we would be we can’t be independent while tied to the EU, so stop saying we will be independent as we never will be and we wouldn’t survive on our own. as we have nothing to give.

Ben Digedig
Guest
Ben Digedig

dupe

John Evans
Guest
John Evans

sorry but that is nonsense. Why do you believe your nation has nothing to give?

Max Sommers
Member
Max Sommers

Why couldn’t Wales be independent within the EU? 28 countries currently manage to be. As for having nothing to give, inasmuch as this is true, it is a result of neglect within the UK. As an independent EU country, it would have a larger population than 5 countries already in the union, and I see no reason, per se, why Wales should have “less to give” than Luxembourg, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Cyprus or Malta.

Endaf Williams
Guest
Endaf Williams

How do you get from A to B whrn you travel abroad ?

Ben Digedig
Guest
Ben Digedig

Keith! Maria! You two NEVER go to Greece! Or Thailand. Nor Japan or China. Forget most of the Middle East. And absolutely NEVER go to Russia. Not only do these places have foreign place names they don’t even use the English alphabet! How rude and unwelcoming. Squiggle speak my untraveled insular friend Jolyon calls it! At least the pesky Welsh use the English alphabet but still a bit annoying that they also have their own culturally historic and actually MEANINGFUL place names (you know, names with an actual etymology behind them rather than manglicisations – and do forgive me lapsing… Read more »

Steve Llewelyn
Guest
Steve Llewelyn

But the so called English alphabet is Latin

Max Sommers
Member
Max Sommers

All road signs in Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Thailand and all the numerous Arabic Speaking countries I have been to (10 of them) are also written in Latin characters as well as their own alphabets. This is only common sense. As for names, I personally can see no difficulty in saying “Abertawe” instead of “Swansea”. I mean, we already say “Llanelli”, “Cwmbran”, “Merthyr Tydfil”, “Machynlleth” and “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”, do we not? I must admit that as an Englishman, I struggle a bit with the last one, but the others cause me no problems.

Ben Digedig
Guest
Ben Digedig

Not ‘ALL’ Max – trust me I learnt to read Cyrillic and Arabic just to get by on a motorbike off the beaten track! The rest of your post I wholeheartedly agree with for the very same reasons. PS I knew the English never invented an alphabet – but they laugh at us Welsh when we write ‘Caffi’ instead of the English Café or ‘Tacsi’ instead of the English ‘Taxi’. Καλοσ ταχιδι to all meantime 😉

Michael Matthews
Guest
Michael Matthews

How do you ge from A to B when you travel in England!

John Evans
Guest
John Evans

drop the english – you’ll pick up the welsh quick enough.

Ernie The Smallholder
Guest
Ernie The Smallholder

If you decide to live in France you take the decision to learn French.
Same for any country.
I came to Wales 6 years ago, with a great welcome and am learning the local language of the nation I’ve adopted as my own.

Our schools must teach Camraeg (Welsh) as our first language.
Then other languages as additions: English, German, Spanish, French, Chinese and Russian for our modern interconnected world.
The more languages you learn the better.

Dave Brooker
Guest
Dave Brooker

That’s like saying if you moved to France you’d have to learn Breton, because a tiny minority of the French speak it, too many English incomers demanding everyone speaks Welsh….

Tellyesin
Guest
Tellyesin

No. That would be relevant if you moved to Brittany.

Christopher Griffiths
Guest
Christopher Griffiths

Maria, neither you nor English speakers are being targetted if it was decided that from tomorrow we’d only have Welsh signs. For starters we ought to rid ourselves of all anglicised Welsh place names. Why Cardiff when Caerdydd exists, why Neath when Castell-nedd has been around for longer? As stated by another poster, all Welsh names have an etymology, the English ones are usually bastardisations of the Welsh. One thing that would cause concern is putting safety signs only in Welsh. Standard ones like “give way” should be Welsh only but more complex ones like “Oncoming vehicle” on the motorway… Read more »

Dave Brooker
Guest
Dave Brooker

Doesn’t all this rather alianate the 85% of people living in Wales who don’t speak Welsh?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Obviously it would at the moment, as regards road signs, Dave. These are issues to be tackled after several years of independence and de-colonisation while we watch the growing number of Welsh-speakers continue to grow. Place names, however, area different matter, and a policy of Welsh-place-names-only could be put into practice tomorrow morning without inevitably alienating most of those Anglophone Welsh people whom you incorrectly number at 85%. Anyone living here who has a built-in prejudice against a non-English language or who wishes to promote the fiction of Wales as a western extension of England will, quite naturally, be against… Read more »

Dave Brooker
Guest
Dave Brooker

Is decolonisation like ethnic cleansing?

Do you not suppose people would be a bit cross if you renamed their towns and villages over night?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

No, it’s nothing to do with movement of people. It refers to two things: the right of self-determination of a colonised nation, and the intellectual decolonisation from the colonising power’s norms that promoted the notion of the colonised people’s inferiority. A more accurate word (especially in Cymru’s case) might be ‘decolonialisation’. Bear in mind that the vast majority of anglophone Welsh people are favourably disposed towards the Welsh language and only a small minority (you might describe them as thoroughly ‘mentally colonised’) would feel the need to be cross at the nationwide erecting of Welsh-only place-name signs. Their children are… Read more »

Dave Brooker
Guest
Dave Brooker

Rose tinted view, if everyone in Wales is that keen on the Welsh language, how come so few use it??

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

The numbers are growing even as we speak.

Steve496 Davies
Guest
Steve496 Davies

Maybe you need to learn to spell in English, before you comment on Welsh issues in the future? Cenedl heb iaith, Cenedl heb galon.

Androw Bennett
Guest
Androw Bennett

Be careful! If non-Welsh speakers don’t understand “Senedd”, how can the be expected to know “ARAF” on the roads? (I was once stopped on a village street in Sir Benfro and asked in all seriousness if “ARAF” indicated that a local landowner “bred Arab horses”! When I explained it meant “SLOW” as it did on the road, he said that “ARAF” couldn’t possibly mean slow because it was “so different ” the English word. In response to my question, he thought that every road sign in the world should be “English only”… Some monoclots (idiots who only speak one language)… Read more »

Max Sommers
Member
Max Sommers

I must admit I did used to wonder who “Slow Araf” was, and why an Egyptian who either had learning difficulties or couldn’t run for toffee was so popular.

Convention.cymru
Guest
Convention.cymru

Do not underestimate the English. They have a good line in scepticism. They ask practical questions, to see if you can come up with solid answers. If your answers are solid, they will respect you and probably give you what you want. So an answer like “hard to know where to start”(from a person who does not speak for Wales) does not cut the mustard. If the question is “Is Wales a country” the honest answer is “No, not really. Not yet.” Wales will not be a proper nation until it constitutes a proper state. To do that, the people… Read more »

jr humphrys
Guest
jr humphrys

There are nice English people, and not so nice, clever and not so clever, fat and thin, just like we are.
They are not robots.. Whatever, we do not need their permission, and they do not need ours, to exist.

Ernie The Smallholder
Guest
Ernie The Smallholder

The Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line should have not been closed but modernised, possibly electrified to operate like a strassen-bahn type light railway system, just as quick and economical to run as a bus.
It could also carry goods at drop off/pick up points along the route.
Steam railways are visitor railways and but are inefficient.

Tudor Rees
Guest
Tudor Rees

Some of the roads cannot stand modern lorry traffic, and having a rail link from S. Wales to Aberystwyth will help in this respect.[Just look at how they are having to patch up the road from Carmarthen through Cynwyl Elfed all the time!]

Geoff Evans
Guest
Geoff Evans

Can I remind Convention.cymru that Cymru was an independent nation centuries ago with our own legal system, church and army. The last legitimate Parliament was that established by Owain Glyndwr in 1404 – an independence that the Cymry fought ferociously to retain, ending with half our population dead and thousands surviving in the mountains and forests rather than surrender to English forces . In fact the Cymry fought for approximately one thousand years to retain our freedom from England’s avaricious clutches. We don’t need to invent a nation or pretend we are not yet a nation. However, I do agree… Read more »

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

(For next time, Delyth): “Wales is a stateless nation. It does indeed have a transport network that fails to unite the north and south of the nation”. But Boulton in all likelihood knows that already. A more meaningful question from him would be: “How can a Welsh Government overcome the physical and psychological barriers that in some instances divide your nation?”

Richard Royle
Guest
Richard Royle

Is England really a country? It’s got the North, the South, the Midlands. It has areas of obscene wealth and grinding poverty, and people speak Polish, Urdu and many other languages. Can you really say that the geographic entity represents in human terms, a country?

Max Sommers
Member
Max Sommers

Well, arguably, the country is the UK, of which Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland are regions. It kind of depends on how you define a country. Certainly, if Wales is not a country, then neither is England.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

The UK is a state made up of four member-countries plus a duchy (Cornwall) which is currently administered as if it were an English county.

Rhys Parry
Guest
Rhys Parry

How would the poor man cope if he had to interview someone from Papua New Guinea, a country of 7.6 million and 850 languages.
As for getting the money from England, well we could start by charging for the water that’s taken from us. Severn Trent Water would be a good place to start. Check out the profit that company makes each year and what does Wales get in return £0. There are plenty of other examples too. We are the 5th biggest producer of electricity, we produce more than we can use.
What a arsehole.

pete
Guest
pete

Severn Trent is a private company all a welsh government could do is tax it, most rivers run into England for free and it does rain in England you know….England could put tariffs on goods entering wales which is just about everything in your local shop

Glynhir
Guest
Glynhir

my local shop has local welsh produce so you are missing the point there sonny a back fire reply

pete
Guest
pete

”local welsh produce” is a miniscule part of the weekly shop…….sonny

jr humphrys
Guest
jr humphrys

So is English, hence the panic over Brexit.

A coslett
Guest
A coslett

Poor Adam Bolton. Not the brightest star in the universe is he? Putting Cymru aside, could his rather simplistic arguments be set against a very divided England? There is the North of that country and the South which, economically and socially, are as different as chalk and cheese. There is even the suggestion afoot that the North of England might seek Union with Scotland post Brexit (despite the large ‘Brexit’ vote) because folk experience greater affinity with our Scottish brethren. Not a particularly united entity is England. Then, of course, there is the issue of language. Where to start? The… Read more »

pete
Guest
pete

Nice rant, Adam Boulton graduated at Oxford where did you study?

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

That speaks volumes about the guy. Yet another Oxbridge muppet full of his own sense of entitlement and importance. Graduates get a lot of education but often exhibit very little evidence of learning. Poor old Pete, looking up in admiration at that sort of idiot.

John Evans
Guest
John Evans

I know several people that graduated at oxford that lack a rounded education and many others that didn’t who are far more intelligent and well read – where you get your degree from is meaningless in terms of making controversial comments in the world of political punditry. A degree in english and in international relations and a biased stint at westminster school.

Dave Thomas
Guest
Dave Thomas

But he’s still ignorant even though he went to Oxford.

david morgan
Guest
david morgan

hes a first class prick pay us for our coal water and gold then get stuffed

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

The comment you refer to pointed out Boulton’s ignorance about Wales, not his level of intelligence.

Max Sommers
Member
Max Sommers

Are you suggesting that graduating at Oxford means that you can’t be an idiot? I have two words for you; “Boris” and “Johnson”.

jr humphrys
Guest
jr humphrys

You’ve got Urdu speaking England, Hindi speaking England, north hates the south, Norfolk accent so different from Geordie…………..some have asked for sub titles on TV is that not so? ( I have them in Finnish if needed, so I’m okay)
( Would love all our people in Wales to speak Cymraeg and Oxford English…………then French, Deutsch…………..)
Don’t know this Boulton chump, not being in Wales so often, but why take a talking head seriously?
Sorry for the plagiarism, Richard.

Max Sommers
Member
Max Sommers

Don’t forget Kernow, which has its own language.

Nigel Hunt
Guest

The Uk Govt is currently undergoing the biggest investment in UK Infrastructure since Victorian Times – HS2…
It’s an England only project, both Scotland and Northern Ireland get billions in Barnett Consequential Wales gets nothing, nix, nada – even tho the KPMG Report commissioned by the Department Of Transport on The Economic Impact Of HS2 in the regions – states that Wales will have a negative economic impact from HS2…
Time for Change

David Roberts
Guest
David Roberts

Good man Nige!;-)

William Steele
Guest
William Steele

The ignorance of Boulton makes me angry. He could ask, Is England a Country? It has a North-South division, a class division of Eton schooled (I won’t say educated) elite and the non Eton educated.

Ceri thomas
Guest
Ceri thomas

What a tart he is its the best country in the world wales is a proud nation of many different peoples that’s why they want to come to our wonderful nation including a load of you English settlers Mr bouton.happy to leave your English shores for Wales and a warm welcome ensures.so we are a proud nation which we settled long before you English arrived better to check you history books.before you make stupid statements that make you look a bit backward or open your mouth cymru forever.

Jeff Williams-Jones
Guest
Jeff Williams-Jones

Do you think Adam Boulton really holds together as a journalist?

Nigel Griffiths
Guest
Nigel Griffiths

What a total and utter prat.

A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg
Guest
A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg

How many times is a whipping boy whipped before he raises his fist?

pete
Guest
pete

The notion of wales being a country comes from a language that few speak and sport, most welsh sport needs Englishmen to field a team at all, wales has no economy it trades east/west with neighbouring regions of England. The principality of wales was absorbed into England under welsh Henry VII , wales is not recognised by the UN.

Adam Boulton was quite correct to ask the question and the answer is No wales isn’t a country.

Glynhir
Guest
Glynhir

does the UN reconognise england ? fifa and uefa do aswell the commonwealth council ,Henry vii a great welshman

pete
Guest
pete

Most the world thinks England is a country but in reality it ceased to be a country outside of sport in 1707, doesn’t alter the fact wales has never been a real country.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

It’s a nation, of course, but historically was never united as one country until the annexation in 1534 and even then only as a colony. 1997 is probably the best year to consider the Welsh nation as being a country in the purely political sense because that’s the year when everyone on the planet except Adam Boulton and yourself could finally acknowledge Wales as a country, with its own (still severely limited) political institutions. Until then, being a nation was enough to give us a sense of unity. England is still a sort of country and will probably continue to… Read more »

Cerydd
Guest
Cerydd

I agree with the tenor of most comments on this page but it’s best not to claim greatness for Henry VII – he was a monster, and the Tudor regime in general destroyed significant social fabric; read “The Voices of Morebath” ISBN 978-0-300-09825-9 for a vivid personal view of the Tudor obsession with centralising power at all costs. Morebath is in Devon but all “fringes”, Wales included, suffer from such power grabs.

Colin Thomas
Guest
Colin Thomas

Neither is England

James W. Soares Jones
Guest
James W. Soares Jones

It’s not a country?!? It’s the fourth member of the “United” Kingdom! It has a past different than others, yes, but it required more English castles per square mile than anywhere else to quell the righteous Cymric folk into a noisy condition of “barely subdued”. I am not proven Cymro by any paper trail BUT I feel a wonderful synchronicity with my Celtic cousins, Irish, Scots, British and from all parts of Cymru. Adam Boulton, no longer on my Holiday list. The Sais, bah humbug!

Hywel Jones
Guest
Hywel Jones

Why o why do ignorant interviwers not bother to research their topic before hand.
For the record Wales was officially recognised as a country in December 2011 by the Influential International Organisation (ISO) .
It has not been a Principality since the 16th century.
There is more to Wales than North and South, Mid Wales also exists but listening to the news whatever channel it is always ignored

Jonathan Gammond
Guest
Jonathan Gammond

Sky News is obviously more popular than I thought. (Not sure why!) Let’s cut to the details – what are the meanings of the word ‘country’ in English? According to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘country’ means: 1a: the territory of a nation with its own government 1b: a territory possessing its own language, people, culture etc 2: rural districts as opposed to towns or the capital 3: the land of a person by birth or citizenship, a fatherland 4a: a territory, especially an area of interest or knowledge 4b: a region associated with a particular person 5: a national population… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Guest
Steve Duggan

Yes, get angry, it’s not the first and it won’t be the last. We must use it to our advantage by highlighting all the slights, all the neglect and all the ignorance to the people, here in Cymru. However, we must also show how independence will benefit us. It will but we have to show it.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Henry VIII introduced the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. It was a scheme to abolish the Marcher lordships but as a by-product created a Wales of 13 counties, with distinct geographical borders that had representation in the English parliament, with the intention of being eventually fully integrated into the English state. Logically one can argue that modern Wales as a country was clearly defined by Henry VIII’s new laws. That was almost 500 years ago and really we should have lost our sense of being ‘not English’ a long time ago. Then again, as ‘Welsh’ is basically English… Read more »

Gareth Williams
Guest
Gareth Williams

It’s not worth the time to reply to someone who clearly has no idea whatsoever what he’s talking about.
We have a Welsh word for Adam “Twp”……

David H Church
Guest

In the Marcher counties most people don’t consider a border except to whom they pay their rates and which emergency service to phone. I had trouble twice phoning the police because I could only guess which side of the border I was at the time. Once we had a breakin in the tiny corner of Powys adjacent to Shropshire and Herefordshire, 3 police outfits turned up, possibly hoping for a free drink as it was a pub. Clearly they talk to each other even though I phoned Dyfed-Powys police as it was in Radnorshire. North-south transport is logically via much… Read more »

Eilian
Guest
Eilian

Yes independence for Wales
We supply England with 214 billion litres of water but we only get 3 pence per litre which equates to £6.5 billion
If we were an independent country we could charge 25 pence per litre generating over £50 billion therefore budgets for all public services would treble